A case of hiring wolves to guard sheep

The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) is tasked with supervising the academic development of students sent abroad to foreign universities and attesting equivalency of academic degrees. The government has also unveiled a plan that will come into force in January 2020, which will oblige government employees in institutions under several ministries to submit certificates for verification and accreditation by MoHE, or face termination from their jobs.

The government’s decision to seek accreditation of certificates held by public sector employees, following reports of people obtaining jobs using fake certificates. The decision is set to apply initially to the ministries of Health, Public Works, Education, Justice and Awqaf, after it came to light that several employees, especially in the administrative and legal departments, of these ministries had obtained their jobs by submitting fake or forged certificates, and degrees from universities that were not accredited by MoHE.

Given the important role that MoHE plays in evaluating certificates and providing accreditation of foreign universities, it is ironic that the Public Prosecution has now ordered the detention of a Kuwaiti woman who is a professor in the Faculty of Higher Education, because she obtained her job on the basis of forged certificates.

The ‘Professor’ is reported to hold three degrees —  a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s and PhD — all of which she admitted were fake and obtained from an Egyptian University with the help of an unidentified Egyptian who also helped her to get the documents accredited.

The woman has been asked to reimburse the state treasury for a total of KD117,000, which she had ‘earned’ over the four years that she held her job at the ministry. Bail has been set on the condition she repays the full amount, or she will have to remain in central prison until her case is determined.